Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon wants to co-operate with NASA and the European Space Agency in colonizing the moon. He also thinks that Heavy Industry will migrate towards outer space over the next century.
In the short term his aerospace company Blue Origins has chosen to specialize in commercially available sub orbital rockets with the intent of reducing barriers to entry and making space flight more accessible overall. A noble goal that he shares with Elon musk, and Virgin galactic CEO Richard Branson.
Blue Origins New Shephard suborbital spaceship was successfully tested on April 29th whereas the launchpad for their more advanced New Glenn Rocket was recently purchased by the company with the intent to launch in 2020.
In an interview with GeekWire Bezos revealed that he would like to work hand in hand with NASA and ESA – who already have plans for the moon and orbital “cis-lunar space” that surrounds it.
Since the ISS is being decommissioned in 2024 NASA, ESA and 12 other national space agencies around the world want to build a new international nexus between Earth and Luna called Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway (LOPG) by 2020. Originally coined “Deep Space Gateway” LOPG will purportedly act as a way station for further exploration and colonization of our solar system.
Back in 2015 the European Space Agency proposed a communal Moon “Village”. Which would be a loosely knit collection of habitats. According to the ESA anyone from private entrepreneurs like Bezos to other foreign governments could simply build in close enough proximity to exchange resources and help each-other out – which would reduce the need to get everything themselves. An idea that Bezos mentioned he was quite fond of. A quote from the ESAs website states that
“Moon Village is not a single project, nor a fixed plan with a defined time table. It’s a vision for an open architecture and an international community initiative.”
Bezos has mentioned that he believes heavy industry will be re-comissioned to outer space in the coming century. Asteroid mining companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries are on the forefront of this operation. Their plan is to set up 3D printers in geocentric orbit for the construction of mining vessels. Then to commercialize water ice for fuel and precious metal from outer space. Although ESAs air breathing plasma thruster may throw a wrench in to their hydrolysis based water ice mining operation, their are still trillion dollar platinum asteroids to mine.
So how does Bezos and the moon fit in too this? Well if we could set up LOPG and a village on the moon than it would certainly be easier to store resources gathered from asteroid mining and further expand the infrastructure of our space based economy towards Mars and so forth, freeing up millions jobs and opportunities for relocation.
Bezos was quoted saying:
“Earth will be zoned for residential and light industrial use, while heavy industry will be moved off the planet and powered by 24/7 solar power,” he said.
“The Earth is not a very good place to do heavy industry. It’s convenient for us right now,” Bezos said. “But in the not-too-distant future — I’m talking decades, maybe 100 years — it’ll start to be easier to do a lot of the things that we currently do on Earth in space, because we’ll have so much energy.”
“The Moon Village concept has a nice property in that everybody basically just says, look, everybody builds their own lunar outpost, but let’s do it close to each other. That way, if you need a cup of sugar, you can go over to the European Union lunar outpost and say, ‘I got my powdered eggs, what have you got?’ … Obviously I’m being silly with the eggs, but there will be real things, like, ‘Do you have some oxygen?’